The show must go on

TROY — Restrictions and regulations in place due to the pandemic have forced the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center to get creative with its programming and events.

“Through all of this, we have developed new ways to provide the Arts to the community. We have gained a better understanding of the importance of social media and (are) trying to use it to our benefit of keeping the Hayner name out there in the public’s view,” Executive Director David Wion said.

One of the ways the center has been able to remain in the public eye is by live-streaming their programming to their Facebook page for those who aren’t able to attend in person, due to limitations in place on gatherings. The center has been able to accomplish this by working with audio engineer Seth Canan and video engineer Gary Pelini; it’s a system that has worked out well for the center and something that Wion says will continue in the future, even after life resumes back to normal.

“It has been so very well received. As a team, (Canan and Pelini) produce amazing videos that have greatly showcased the cultural events that Hayner is known for,” Wion said.

Classes have also continued at the center, though they are all now held in the Art Studio at the center with a maximum of nine participants per class. Guidelines such as distancing of six feet and masking is mandatory and observed at all times.

“We have spent much of our time reimagining how we can present our classes, exhibits and concerts to the public while abiding by the restrictions the pandemic has created for everyone. Our social media presence has become even more important to us,” Wion said.

Large rental events, such as weddings and receptions, have been canceled or postponed to a later date. Wion mentioned that while the center is able to accommodate small weddings and receptions of 50 people or less, guests must abide by social distancing and masking guidelines, food must be catered with the caterer on-site, and no dancing is permitted. Few civic organizations that used the center to conduct meetings are meeting in person now, and those that do are limited to 11 people at most.

One thing that Wion says will help the Hayner Center continue their programming throughout the ongoing pandemic is the renewal levy that will be on the May 2021 ballot. The levy is a 0.85 mill renewal and is considered essential to the continued operation of the Hayner Center. The levy provides approximately 82 percent of Hayner’s operating, maintenance and programming budget. The remaining 18 percent of Hayner’s income is generated from donations, fees and grants.

“It is difficult to plan ahead for major Hayner events, as we just don’t know what the future holds and when we might be able to return to normal programming. Most of our events are on hold for now,” Wion said. “(Despite this), our goal is to be able to return to the normal, ‘in-person,’ programming that we are known for as soon as possible.”